Super Tuesday was not kind to Harvard graduates.
The presidential ambitions of former Mass. Gov. and dual Harvard degree holder Mitt Romney were hanging by a thread early this morning after his chief rival for the Republican nomination, Senator John McCain of Arizona, racked up big wins in nominating contests on both coasts.
In the race for the Democratic nomination, Senator Hillary Clinton of New York edged Illinois Senator and Law School alumnus Barack Obama in the crucial northeastern states of New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, while also capturing the biggest prize of all: California.
Though Clinton performed better throughout the country, Obama was a favorite among Cambridge voters.
“I really believe he is the candidate that can bring about real change,” said Debra L. Caplan, a first year graduate student, after casting her vote for Obama in Quincy House.
“I think he is a more nationally viable candidate for the Democrats, especially against John McCain,” said Jilly E. Gagnon ’06 about Obama.
Not all voters had such a strong preference going into the voting booth.
At the start of election day, Catherine L. Vaughan ’08 was still undecided as to who she supported, but she still wanted to participate in the political process. She ultimately selected her candidate by flipping a coin between Clinton and Obama.
“They’re both great candidates, and I’d like to see either win,” Vaughan said.
She wouldn’t reveal who won the toss.
Decia B. Goodwin spent the day working the desk at the polling place in Quincy House.
“This is the biggest number of voters this polling place has seen in memory,” said Goodwin. Her fellow polling officials agreed. The Quincy voting place, Precinct 3 in Ward 8, has 758 registered voters. By 5 p.m., 208 people had already cast their ballots.
On the other side of the Yard, freshmen and Cambridge residents cast their ballots in Gund Hall at the Harvard Design School.
Cambridge resident Sonya Brown stopped by the Gund Hall polling place around 6:30 p.m. to make her vote. Unlike many of her fellow voters, who were casting ballots for the first time, Brown has been voting for 18 years.
“Every vote counts,” she said. “It’s inevitable that if the person you like doesn’t win and you didn’t vote, you might feel some responsibility for that.”
—Staff writer Lauren D. Kiel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Feb. 6 story "McCain, Clinton Carry Primaries," was put to press before full results became known from California. As a result, it said that Senator Hillary Clinton of New York had outperformed Senator Barack Obama of Illinois in yesterday's "Super Tuesday" contests. In fact, while Clinton won the major states of New York and California, the complex manner in which delegates are awarded means that the Clinton now has only a narrow lead in the total number of delegates. Additionally, Obama won 13 states yesterday, while Clinton won just nine.